Lakeside High School students will be changing classrooms a little more frequently in the spring semester.
The installation of a new heating and air conditioning system for the school means that portions of the school will be closed in phases over the next six months, according to Tim Beatty, the director of facilties for Columbia County schools.
As each section closes to allow for construction, students and faculty will have to move to different classrooms. Beatty said to accommodate those moves, 10 portable classroom units were moved to the Lakeside campus this week.
Classes will rotate in and out of those portables as space is needed, school officials said.
Superindendent Sandra Carraway said the $5.8 million project will include replacement of all the school ceilings and installation of new lighting.
“It is an amazing amount of money,” she said. “People don’t realize how much facilties maintenance can cost.”
Carraway said work began this week, but will really ramp up while students are out of school over the holiday break.
“They are removing ceiling tiles now,” she said.
Carraway said the work will begin displacing students from classrooms and into portables in mid-February. Most should be completed by the end of the school year, but work in the large public areas, such as the cafeteria and media center will have to wait until the summer break.
Lakeside Principal Steven Rhodes said the initial group of teachers will be displaced for about three weeks, but after that the contractor has worked out a schedule that will minimize classroom disruptions.
“We are hoping it will be minimal amount of days, probably about three days at a time,” he said.
“The predominate amount of work will be done at night.”